It doesn’t matter if you loved school or hated it, there are undoubtedly certain teachers that are more memorable than others. Maybe your favorite teacher wasn’t even part of the traditional school system, since many of them teach online or in after-school programs.
Whatever the case may be, here are 20 songs about teachers (some take a more liberal approach than others). Every one of these songs has something to offer, so take a look and see which ones are your favorites.
20. You Can Be My Teacher (94 East featuring Prince)
Okay, this one isn’t necessarily about going to school per se, but it is definitely about learning a thing or two from someone else. In this particular case, the subject matter is making love. If you really stop and think about it, some of the best teachers can be found outside of the school system. As a matter of fact, most of the truly memorable ones are the ones that you run into in one fashion or another, during your day-to-day life.
19. The Hands of a Teacher (Public Affection)
This is a rather sweet song about a person who has seemingly lost the ability to see the best in others. The person in the song has become quite cynical and then without any warning, they meet someone who teaches them how to not only find themselves once again, but also find the good in humanity.
18. Just Sixteen (Velvet Revolver)
Kids sometimes have a tendency to get in trouble when they’re at school but this song is about getting into a whole different kind of trouble. It’s a song about a student and a teacher that end up falling for one another. It isn’t long until they’re sneaking around in a relationship, and they’re not really all that careful about making sure they don’t get caught in the process.
17. We’re Going to Be Friends (The White Stripes)
This isn’t just a song about teachers, but about the entire school experience. For the most part, it centers around the impact that certain relationships can have on a person while they are in some of their most formative years. Whether or not those friendships remain well into adulthood, they help to define who a person eventually becomes. Ultimately, these relationships help to shape the way a person sees the world.
16. Teacher’s Blues (Pete Seeger)
This is definitely one of the more unique songs on the list. It was written some time ago and it heavily features a banjo, something that you don’t typically see in most songs these days. As far as the lyrics themselves are concerned, they’re basically asking why a person should become a teacher in the first place. More specifically, the lyrics center around the fact that teachers go through years of education and dedicate themselves to their profession, if they don’t make enough money to support themselves.
15. Teacher, Teacher (Slick Rick)
This is actually a song that was performed by the artist as a direct commentary to teachers that he had had throughout his lifetime. In the lyrics, he talks about being a famous figure that is well-known around the world, yet everything goes back to those simple lessons that he learned while he was in school.
14. Teach Me Tonight (Amy Winehouse)
Once again, you have a song that isn’t necessarily about the school experience. In fact, this song is more of a love song than anything else. The person singing is asking someone else to teach them about things such as intimacy and making love.
13. Oh, Teacher (Diana Ross)
Whether you are a fan of her music or not, almost everyone is familiar with Diana Ross. This is a song that she performed about her successful life as a performer. In much the same way that other performers have given a nod to their teachers that supported them through some of their most formative years, she is doing the same thing here. She seamlessly links the life she had while she was in school with her life as an adult, clearly demonstrating how everything comes full circle.
12. The Mentor (Catman Cohan)
This is a rather odd song that depicts a dream someone is having in rather graphic detail. In the dream, the person who is mentoring someone else isn’t teaching them like a teacher would disseminate a subject in high school. Nevertheless, the analogy is there and like so many other songs that are similar in nature, it became a popular hit that often refers to teachers who are definitely outside of the school system.
11. Teachers (Daft Punk)
People sometimes have difficulty making sense of some of the songs that were made famous By Daft Punk. Like some of the other songs on this list, this one isn’t about your traditional teacher, at least not in the strictest sense possible. Instead, it lists the names of several individuals who were considered by Daft Punk to be teachers of both music and performance.
10. Teachers (Leonard Cohen)
Here you have a song about someone who is helping to teach another individual about some of the most important lessons in life, lessons that you’re not commonly going to find in school. The lyrics in the song talk about teaching someone lessons that are more about love and loss than anything else. Without a doubt, these are the lessons that are often the most difficult to learn. As such, they’re also the ones where you need the most effective and compassionate teachers.
9. (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (Beastie Boys)
Almost everyone has at least heard this song a time or two. Just like the title implies, it is a song that is all about living the school experience to the fullest extent possible. The song is told from the perspective of people who are in school and would far prefer to make friends at a party than pay attention in class. As such, it’s a song that most students can identify with because almost everyone has felt that way. At its core, it’s a song about not letting people control you to the point that you forget who you really are.
8. Rock N Roll High School (Ramones)
There’s no doubt about it, it would be a lot more fun to go to school if you could go to one that focused more on things like rock and roll than mathematics. This is one of the most quintessential songs of all time for most teenagers, largely because it talks about throwing the books in your locker and focusing on the things that most people of that age would prefer to focus on, like not studying.
7. Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
This is a song about remembering to teach children about life lessons that will serve them and society well into adulthood. As opposed to simply focusing on school subjects, this one is all about teaching people to be kind to others, doing their part and learning to take responsibility for their own actions.
6. Don’t Stand So Close To Me (The Police)
Imagine being in a school setting and falling in love with someone when it’s largely taboo to do so. More specifically, think about a student who falls for a teacher or even a teacher who has a crush on the student. This is a song about focusing on keeping one’s distance from someone when you really want to be close to them, yet you know that no good will come of it.
5. Hot for Teacher (Van Halen)
There is no song list about teachers that would be complete without this song. It’s easily one of the most famous songs about teachers ever written and it’s been played on the radio more than many of the songs on this list combined. It’s definitely a bit naughty, too. After all, it is unapologetically classic rock by its very nature. As such, it doesn’t talk much about learning the traditional school subjects, but it definitely does talk about learning a thing or two from a teacher. If you’re curious, give it a listen and draw your own conclusions.
4. Teacher I Need You (Elton John)
This is one of the lesser-known Elton John songs out there, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing. It talks about a young boy sitting in class while the teacher, a middle-aged woman, provides the lessons. The thing is, the young boy isn’t necessarily focusing on the lessons that are being taught in school, but more on the teacher herself.
The song goes on to talk about how the teacher starts out being someone that this boy really admires and then over the course of the school year, she becomes much more than that in his mind. Eventually, it comes to a point where he wants to write her a letter to tell her how he feels, but then he starts to grapple with not knowing what to say.
In addition, there is some part of him that knows that having an actual relationship would be impossible. Despite that fact, he continues to fantasize about it everyday. Eventually, he can no longer focus on his lessons. The teacher is the only thing he can think about.
3. School’s Out (Alice Cooper)
While there is usually one or two kids in a class that really love school, most of the others can truly identify with the lyrics in this song. The song itself deals with school being out during the summer time. However, they also deal with not being particularly fond of school.
In fact, the people in the song only feel like their lives really begin when school lets out for summer break and they can finally be themselves without being tied down to a classroom all day long.
This is a song that doesn’t only discuss summer break in the literal sense, but also that burning desire that most students have for it to be summer time all year long. In that particular sense, it really is more about the desire for freedom than anything else.
2. Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)
This is a song that has long been misunderstood by people who were actually old enough to be teachers when the song itself came out. Oddly enough, people who were just the right age for high school seemed to catch onto the lyrics right away.
Those lyrics talk about teachers not really being much help in school. In fact, the lyrics say that the teachers might as well just be another brick that goes into the wall, because they don’t really do anything while they are there. It’s definitely not a song that is flattering to the profession.
Nevertheless, it’s one of the most popular songs about teachers that’s ever been recorded, largely because it focuses on the way that most kids feel about a lot of things while they’re of that particular age. Even some of the best students would likely admit that there have been times when they felt like they weren’t really at school to learn, but only to be policed during school hours.
1. When I Kissed The Teacher (ABBA)
Finally, you have the ever popular song that talks about actually kissing a teacher and all the things that come with it. Most of those things are largely positive. The song talks about a fantasy environment. In that fantasy, the student is able to kiss the teacher without any repercussions so that is the world they choose to live in, inside their head.
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